Should Gemini clients alert users upon redirect?

Luke Emmet luke at
Wed Feb 17 11:37:52 GMT 2021

On 17-Feb-2021 01:27, Sandra Snan wrote:
> Luke Emmet <luke at> writes:
>> We may imagine a perfectly valid URL /westminster/london/uk - that
>> might make sense for a certain type of application.
> But I still feel you're in my corner when it comes to making my capsule
> structure flat. I ended up not sending more than half of my last email
> because it strayed off topic a bit (and this lists gets enough rants as
> it is) but gemini://

I'm in the camp that you should have whatever structure you like :)

On the web I prefer simple flat-ish URL structures, probably without 
even any file extension. A lot of URLs expose the innards of the site 
(cgi-bin, *.php) implementation that is orthogonal to the URL and 
content naming, and I put file extensions in that bracket. How many of 
our visitors need to know what some site is implemented in, or it it is 
a database, or built from a static site generator? That is what Apache 
mod_rewite was made for.

Personally I'm a bit more torn about this in Gemini, as the landscape is 
much more spartan.

Having a link end *.pdf gives readers a very good hint as to the content 
at the end of the URL and it helps me make a choice - do I want to click 
that thing or not? Also clients can provide certain UI hints or 
decorations to suggest the likely content of the link with some basic 
URL heuristics. So in Gemini, I prefer to see a file extension in the URL.

Similarly clients can implement a simple "Up" feature which means any 
page does not need this intrinsic navigation. All assuming the author 
maps their content onto the URL structure in a sensible way.

As a visitor, we cannot expect URLs to implement any sort of tree 
structure, but in practice they usually do and we can traverse up and 
down the URL architecture as well as by following the authored links. 
For me this is the pragmatics of URLs.

  - Luke

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